Maintaining F-1 Student Status

MAINTAINING STATUS

While studying in the United States, it is important to maintain your F student status. Your status relates to the purpose, or reason for why you want to come to the United States. The U.S. Department of State issues you your visa based on your intended purpose.

If the Department of State issues you an F student visa, this means that you are coming to the United States to study. You should not take any action that detracts from that purpose. Maintaining your status means:

  • Fulfilling the purpose for why the Department of State issued you your visa.
  • Following the regulations associated with that purpose.

F-1 students share the same primary purpose for coming to the United States however, F-1 students enroll in more traditional academic programs.

Below are actions to take in order to properly maintain your status.

 

ARRIVAL

When arriving to the United States, the F students must:

 

EDUCATION

While studying in the United States, the F students must:

  • Attend and pass all your classes. If school is too difficult, speak with your DSO immediately.
  • If you believe that you will be unable to complete your program by the end date listed on your Form I-20, talk with your DSO about requesting a possible program extension.
  • You must take a full course of study each term; if you cannot study full-time, contact your DSO immediately.
  • Do not drop a class without first speaking with your DSO.

 

ANNUAL VACATION FOR F-1 STUDENTS

F-1 students must complete at least one full academic year at an SEVP-certified school to be eligible for annual vacation. Additionally, students must intend to register for classes in the academic term following their annual vacation.

SEVP-certified schools should have clear and consistent policies regarding annual vacation and comply with the requirements laid out in SEVP Policy Guidance for Adjudicators 1408-01: Academic Year.

Please note that during an annual vacation, students can take as many, as few or no courses as they want. SEVP considers all study during an annual vacation incident to status.

 

UPON PROGRAM COMPLETION

F students must take action to maintain legal status or depart the United States after completing your program of study.

Once you complete your program of study and any authorized period of practical training, F students have 60 days after completion of your program (the program end date on your Form I-20) to leave the United States. If you wish to extend your stay in the United States, talk with your DSO to learn more about doing one of the following:

 

TALK WITH YOUR DSO FIRST

If you are an F student studying in the United States, your DSO should be the first person you talk with if you have any questions regarding the legal requirements of your stay in the United States. Your DSO can assist in answering your questions or help you find someone who can help.

F-1 students should speak with their DSO if you are planning to do any of the following:
  • Change your major, program, or degree level.
  • Change your education level.
  • Transfer to a new school or take a leave of absence.
  • Take a break from school.
  • Travel outside the United States.
  • Move to a new address.
  • Request a program extension.

For more information contact us admissions@approachusa.com.